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International travel with infant and toddler?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BsBride. Show BsBride's posts

    International travel with infant and toddler?

    I may be crazy to even consider this, but does anyone have experience with international travel with an infant (4-5 months) and a toddler (2years)? My husband is from Croatia, and we haven't been there to visit in about 5 years. I'm thinking we should try next summer when our kids will be about 4-5 months and 2 years old, but he is very hestitant. Anyone have any experence with this? There are no direct flights, so we'll need at least one layover, and then about a 2 hour bus ride. The concern is having to bring so much stuff with us, and wrangling two kids may make it not a vacation. Plus side is we would be able to stay in a two bedroom apartment, so we could cook there, do laundry etc.
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from CTMum. Show CTMum's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    We traveled to the South of France this summer with an eight-week old and a 3 year old. It was an incredible, wonderful, fantastic trip and I am so glad we did it. Our trip was definitely easier than yours sounds, but we had some of the same stumbling blocks and benefits.  I'll try to give a quick rundown:

    There is no direct way to get from CT (where we live) to the South of France.  We flew out of JFK to Nice (two hours from our end destination). We hired a car to drive us to/from airport on both sides.  Both car services provided a car seat for our 3 year old. (We traveled with a car seat for our 8-week old, plus the stroller base for her car seat which we gate-checked).
    We bought seats on the flights for both children. This is a personal preference, but in all of our international travel, we have found it much easier to have the seat and car seat for the infant.  In this case, it was especially helpful when dealing with a potty-training 3 year old ...
    Our 8-week old slept for take off and landing on the flight over and was awake (but content) for the remainder of the flight. (Tough on my as it was an overnight flight; nice for the rest of the plane!)  One the way back, she slept about 1/2 of the 9 hour flight.  All in all, we considered ourselves very lucky!
    We use the CARES system when flying with our 3 year old. ( We love it.
    We were staying with my brother and sister-in-law, so laundry facilities would be available to us, which made packing easier.  In addition, my sister-in-law had a basinette for our 8-week old to sleep in.  If there is any way you can arrange to borrow or rent crib(s) for your kids while there, it will help tremendously with the minimizing of gear.
    We brought the Moby Wrap for our 8-week old. If I was making the trip now (she's almost 6 months), I wouldn't go without the Ergo. 
    Ours was an incredible trip and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.  I think traveling with a less-than-six-month-old is far easier than contemplating travel with a 1 year old plus toddler.

    Good luck!
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from newcarsmelly. Show newcarsmelly's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    You are not crazy at all! I am crazy b/c I just flew to Ireland with my 1.5 y/o by myself. (hehe!) It was a 5 hour overnight flight and a 4 hour drive to my friends home. It was a looong haul but well worth it!!
    We recently flew again but with my DH and omg, it was soo much easier!
    I believe you must have a seat on the plane for your 2 y/o. I highly agree with other poster, if you can afford it, get another seat for your infant. I think you can make it w/out but if you can swing it, it will give you more room and a much needed break from holding a baby in your arms. (Plus, I think they sleep better snuggled in their seats.) As far as baby stuff... I think you'd be best served to have pack and play/crib options pre-arranged for you in Croatia. No way do you want to bring that stuff with you. For the flight, I would suggest a snap and go stroller for your infant seat. (You can gate check the whole thing if you don't have a sep. seat on the plane for the baby.) Better yet, if you could get a double stroller or sit and stand - that would let you transport both kids for the connection.
    I used the Gogo Kidz wheels which is strapped a car seat. It basically turns your toddler carseat into a stroller. So if you need/want to use carseat on the plane and need it when you get to your destination, it's sooo awesome!
    I used a backpack for our carry on. Was much easier to have hands free.
    One other thought, not sure if it's feasable but could you consider staying overnight in the layover city. It may be more hectic but if the first flight is particularly long, it could be a much needed break from travelling and then you'd have a shorter day the next day.
    Big plus is that summer weather is much easier to pack for and lighter. And if you have laundry and kitchen available - even better!!
    There's no doubt it will be hectic but honestly, the flying part is the hardest. Once you're in the airport it's manageable - you can basically handle any situation (you have all the amenties around.. food, bathroom, you can let 2 y/o run around, lots of cool airport stuff to keep them entertained). The challenge for me was on the plane. But in all honesty, it's do-able! And so worth it to enjoy time with your family. I found the key was being patient and organized. The backpack was invaluable. It had lots of pockets and I designated one pocket for diapering, one for things to occupy DD, one for food.
    Hope that helps! Best of luck!
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    I haven't travelled internationally, but things I learned from domestic trael:

    If you know people in the destination city, see if they can borrow equipment like strollers, pack and play, etc.  You may also be able to rent them.  Less for you to lug or pack

    We bought a simple, cheap umbrella stroler at Target, much lighter than our usual model and no worries about losing it along the way

    Pack a carry on bag with one days supply of the essentials for the baby AND yourself in case of travel delays.  Food, diapers, clothes, etc., you never know when there will be a blow out or something gross and you don't want to be stuck wearing a biohazzardous shirt for the whole trip.

    For toddlers, a friend of mine recommended gift wrapping a few small gifts for them to earn and open along the way, things like coloring books, crayons, toys etc that will entertain them along the way.

    Snacks!  Low blood sugar makes everyone crabby.  Have snacks handy to help the happy travelers.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    I haven't travelled internationally, but we did fly to San Diego this summer... Just a couple of thoughts...

    DD was 5 1/2 months and was fine on all of the flights except for the very last one when it was after her bedtime and she was a little fussy.

    My 2 year old nephew was a different story.  He wanted OUT of his car seat and was difficult on all the flights.  HOwever, I don't spend a ton of time with him, so I don't know if it's his nature in general to be fussy.

    We didn't get a seat for DD because we knew she'd nap better in our arms than in a car seat.

    We gate checked the snap n go and infant seat.  Snap n go got beat up - scratched and lost the cup holder.  We put a bag over the seat and that got ripped apart, but the seat itself was fine.  May as well save your money and just put the seat in a plastic bag.

    Oh and there are other threads about flying that you may find helpful.  Good luck!
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    My DH is from England.  We went there with my DD earlier this year when she was 11 months, and hope to go again early next year before she turns 2, and so my DS will be about 6-8 months.  We want to take advantage of free air travel while we can because there will be plenty of time for us to pay full fares.

    I think the most important thing to do is keep calm and not overpack.  If you are staying in 1 apartment the entire time, you will do very well.  We traveled all over England so visit friends and family, and stayed in a mixture of hotels, apartments and friends houses.  Because of that, we brought a baby bjorn travel crib so DD had the same bed every night.  She loved it and it's so light - 8lbs vs 30lbs that most PNPs weigh.  I bet the owners of the apartment you rent will have a PNP for you to use.  The apartments we stayed at provided them.  Also, if you have laundry available, try to limit the clothes you bring.  We packed enough clothes for 4 days even though we went for 3 weeks since we knew we could do laundry. 

    As far as air travel, I'd be nervous to travel during peak months because of how full the pack flights these days.  I prefer off peak so the plane is hopefully emptier and we can spread out.  We had DD as a lap infant, but both going and coming we were able to get her own seat because the flights were not full. 

    Also, I'd recommend getting a diaper clutch for the plane so you don't have to bring a huge diaper bag to the tiny airplane bathroom. 

    Finally, while you can bring pretty much anything on board a plane here in America if you travel with a baby, it is not necessarily the same in other countries, so I'd check out what is allowed and what isn't to prevent any frustration at the Croatian security check.  In London I wasn't allowed to bring my ice pack with my DDs milk and I had to open and taste all her food (including yogurt!!).  It was annoying and maybe if I had known ahead of time I would have been less annoyed and my medela ice pack wouldn't have been confiscated.


  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from BsBride. Show BsBride's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    Thanks so much for all the suggests!  I'll look into that baby bjorn travel crib. The apartment we'll be at is actually my husband's family's apartment that they rent out, so we'd have to go when the tenants are on vacation themselves, which is usually august. I was thinking of just bed sharing with the infant and having the older one in one of the twin beds there.
    All your thoughts have made me feel better. I really don't want to wait for several more years to go, it's already been 5 years since we've been there. I love the thought of the two year old being immersed in the language and culture for a couple weeks (DH is teaching him the language). I know the travel part will be tough, and my husband is not the most patient person, hopefully I can keep it together enough for everyone.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    One other comment - I'm sure you know you have to have a passport for everyone (even infants), but did you know that both parents have to be there to submit the passport application - or you need a special form that is notarized for one parent to get the passport. It is kind of a big pain. Just thought I'd mention it, since it wasn't something I expected when I started thinking about getting DD a passport.
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from BsBride. Show BsBride's posts

    Re: International travel with infant and toddler?

    Thanks Amy-Lyn, I didn't know that, and I would have probably gone by myself. My passport expires a couple weeks after number 2 is due, so I figured I renew mine and get theirs all at once.